Ash Barty Becomes First Australian Woman In 41 Years To Reach Wimbledon Final - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Becomes First Australian Woman In 41 Years To Reach Wimbledon Final

The world No.1 overcame a blip during the second set of her match against Angelique Kerber to reach only the second major final of her career.



Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Angelique Kerber (GER) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Ash Barty is a win away from lifting the Wimbledon title after defeating former champion Angelique Kerber in a tight straight sets encounter. 


The world No.1 overcame some stern opposition from her opponent to prevail 6-3, 7-6(3), at The All England Club on what is the 10th anniversary of her triumph in the junior competition. In what was both a physical and mental challenge, Barty was forced to recover from a 1-4 deficit in the second set en route to becoming the first woman from her country to reach the final since her idol Evonne Goolagong in 1980. In her latest performance she blasted eight aces and 38 winners past Kerber.

“This is close to as good of a tennis match that I will ever play. Angie brought the best out of me and it was a hell of a match right from the first ball. I knew it had to be that good just to compete with her,” said Barty.
“I’m incredibly proud of myself and my team. Now we get a chance on Saturday to try and live out our childhood dream.” She added.

Playing in her first Wimbledon semi-final at the age of 25, Barty overcame some initial nerves early on against her more experienced opponent. Kerber won the tournament back in 2018 and has won more Tour matches on the grass than most active players apart from both of the Williams sisters.

It was a single break two games into the opener which proved crucial for the Australian. A Kerber backhand into the net moved Barty to break point which she converted with the help of a winner on the following point. In the lead, she continued to weather the storm during what was a trickier opening set than what the score suggests. Leading 5-3, a deep shot moved Barty to her first set point before she closed it out with an ace out wide.

Dropping the first set served as a wake up call for Kerber who elevated her level by going out guns blazing at the start of the second frame. Hitting the ball cleaner and utilizing the angle shot to her advantage, the world No.22 roared her way to a three-game winning streak. It looked as if Kerber was destined to take the match into a decider as she worked her way to a 5-3 lead. However, at the worst possible moment nerves struck and a series of costly errors let the world No.1 back into the match as she drew level once again.

It was the clutch moments which separated the two players on the court. An anticlimactic end to their clash saw in the second set tiebreak Kerber produced more mistakes as Barty surged to a 6-0 lead. Failing to convert her first three match points, she triumphed on her fourth time attempt after a Kerber backhand slammed into the net on what was her 22nd unforced error of the match.

“I’ve had an incredible journey. I’ve had ups and downs, and everything in between. I wouldn’t change one day or moment in my journey. It’s been unique, it’s been incredible and it’s been tough. There’s so many things that have led to this point,” Barty reflected afterwards.
“Being able to play on the final Saturday at Wimbledon is just going to be the best experience ever.”

The run to the final comes after what has been a difficult past few weeks on the Tour. At the French Open Barty was forced to retire during a match due to a leg injury and couldn’t even play any grasscourt events heading into Wimbledon. An impressive performance for the Australian who says she wouldn’t have been able to achieve the milestone without the support of her team.

“In all the opportunities I get to do, I get to do it with the people that I love,” she said. “People who have given so much of their time to try and help me be the best that I can be. We laugh everyday and smile every day. Sometimes through the heartache but the best moments as well. I want to share it with them.”

Should Barty go on to win the title she would become only the fourth WTA player in history to claim both the junior and senior trophies at Wimbledon after Ann Jones, Martina Hingis and Amélie Mauresmo.

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Luca Van Assche edges past Abdullah Shelbayh at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Luca Van Assche beat Abdullah Shelbayh 4-3 (7-5) 3-4 (5-7) 4-1 4-1 to move to 1-0 in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Shelbayh thrilled the crowd with net approaches and drop shots but he converted just 2 of his 17 break points. 

Both players were making their first appearance at the Next Gen Finals. 

Shelbayh hit 28 winners to Van Assche’s 17. Van Assche made only 19 unforced errors to Shelbayh’s 34. 

Van Assche earned an early break in the first game and saved three break points to hold serve on the deciding point in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Shelbayh broke back at love in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Van Assche came back from 2-4 down to win the tie-break 7-5.

The second set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Van Assche saved four break points in the third game to hold serve on the deciding point. Shelbayh earned four set points at 6-2. Van Assche saved the first three set points to claw his way back to 5-6, but Shelbayh earned his fourth mini-break with a drop-shot to seal the tie-break 7-5. 

Van Assche broke twice in the first and fifth games to win the third set 4-1. Shelbayh converted his third break point in the first game of the fourth set to take a 1-0 lead, but Van Assche won four consecutive games with two breaks of serve. 

Van Assche won seven of the ten deciding points of the match. 

“It was a tough match today against a tough opponent. I know Abdullah very well. He is an amazing player. He was almost at home with the crowd cheering for him. It was a good match for me and really tough from the beginning to the end. It is very difficult not to have a warm-up. I just hit a couple of balls before I entered the court”, said Van Assche. 

Shelbayh received a strong support of the crowd from neighbouring Jordan. 

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Flavio Cobolli beats Dominic Stricker on his debut at the Next Gen Finals



Flavio Cobolli overcame 2022 semifinalist Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 4-2 after 1 hour and 39 minutes on his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah to move to 1-0 in Green Group. 


Cobolli converted four of his five break points and won nine of his ten games on the deciding point.

Sticker earned the first break point in the second game of the opening set, but Cobolli saved it with a forehand inside-out on the deciding point. Cobolli fended off another break point on the deciding point with a first serve winner in the fourth game. The Italian player broke serve in the fifth game on the deciding point with a forehand passing shot to take a 3-2 lead and served out the first set at 15. 

The second set went on serve in the first three games with no break points. Stricker earned a break point in the fourth game, but Cobolli saved it to hold serve for 2-2. Stricker went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break with a mini-break on the second point, but Cobolli pulled the mini-break back to draw level to 5-5. Cobolli saved two set points at 5-6 with a forehand down the line and another chance at 6-7. Stricker converted his third set point to win the tie-break 9-7 after 56 minutes.

Cobolli went down 0-40 on serve in the first game of the third set, but he won four consecutive points to save four break points to hold serve on the deciding point. The Italian player won 11 of the next 12 points and broke serve in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. Stricker rallied from 0-40 down to 40-40, but Cobolli held serve on the deciding point with a forehand in the third game. Stricker earned three break points at 1-3 15-40 but Cobolli saved them to hold serve on the deciding point for 4-1.   

The fourth set started with a series of breaks and counterbreaks, as Cobolli took a 2-1 lead with a break on the deciding point and held serve at 30 to open up a 3-1 lead. Cobolli earned a match point, but Stricker saved it on the deciding point. Cobolli served out the win on his second match point in the sixth game.

Cobolli will face Arthur Fils in the second match on Wednesday.

“I warmed up for a lot of time, so I was really hot on the court. I started the match really well. The courts are so fast, but I was faster than Stricker. I played a really good match and I am really happy”, said Cobolli.

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Arthur Fils edges Luca Nardi in the opening match of the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah



Arthur Fils made a winning start to Green Group with a 2-4 4-3 (8-6) 4-2 1-4 4-2 win of Luca Nardi after 2 hours and 2 minutes in the opening match of the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.


Fils served at 51% and faced only two break points. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games. Nardi earned his first break at 15 in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, when Fils netted a forehand. Nardi served for the set at 3-2 and fired a service winner to close out the first set in 19 minutes. 

Both players went on serve in the second set en route to the tie-break. Nardi fired an ace on the sixth point to draw level to 3-3. Fils earned a mini-break  after Nardi made a loose backhand. Nardi pulled the mini-break back to draw level to 4-4 and forced a mistake from Fils to earn a set point at 5-5. 

Fils saved a set point at 5-6 with a service winner. The Frenchman earned a mini-break at 7-6 to wrap up the tie-break of the second set 8-6 after 55 minutes. 

Fils broke serve at 15 in the first game of the third set after a lucky net cord winner and earned another break point at 2-0. Nardi won the decisive point with a forehand down the line winner to hold serve in the third game. Fils held serve at 30 in the sixth game to win the third set 4-2 after 1 hour and 18 minutes. 

Nardi faced two break points in the first game of the fourth set and saved them on the deciding point. 

Nardi broke Fils in the fifth game when Fils made a forehand error. The Italian player closed out the fourth set with a service winner in the sixth game forcing the match to the fifth set after 1 hour and 38 minutes. 

Both players went on serve in the opening five games of the decider. Nardi wasted a game point, and Fils earned the decisive break with a return winner to seal the win after 2 hours and 3 minutes. 

Fils won the first ATP title in Lyon last May and finished the season at number 36. The Frenchman started 2023 at number 249, making the biggest jump into the top 50 from last yeat of any player on Tour. 

“It was a tough match. The first set in my life I am playing first to four games. Things can change very quickly. I was leading two sets to one, had break points and I was feeling very good. Then I lost a deuce point and everything changed, but I I am really happy to win today”, said Fils. 

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